Is it possible to get a rush from a simple touch? I'm pretty sure it isn't, but...my hearts cruelly beating my chest for some reason. ...In fact, it almost hurts. So while Caleb's fixing our plates with forks and napkins, I shift uncomfortably in my seat, trying to understand what the hell my cardiac organ is fucking doing.
"No way...Dante, are you blushing?"
And trust Haylie to break me from my thoughts.
"Fuck off." I growl, twisting my head away from her outstretched hand. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Oh my goodness, Callie, look, he's blushing!" She squeals, fingers jabbed in my face.
"Leave him alone, Hay." Caleb glances at her while settling between us on the couch. "Don't you two start fighting--we're watching a movie together civilly. Okay? Don't--stop provoking him, Haylie!" He slaps her wrist away just as she moves in to tug on my hair.
So we're sitting here on the couch at Caleb's house, watching some movie about a group of heroes who can't even get along.
But...damn, the whole time, all I can think about is Caleb's body next to mine. It's not even in an erotic manner--there really isn't anything attractive about turtlenecks and sweatpants, though it looks...cute on him, I guess--he's just sitting there. Next to me. Eating his lasagna. With a huge smudge of tomato sauce smeared on his chin.
"Hey, Caleb," I begin softly, lifting a napkin. He blinks up at me, curious. "You've got--"
And Haylie, being Haylie, interrupts us to pull Caleb toward her, licking the sauce clean off his face.
"Grossness! Haylie, what the friggin' hell!?" Caleb furiously rubs at his chin with his sleeve, glaring at her. "Don't just--why would you--your tongue--!"
She simply grins, going back to eating her lasagna. "I can't let Dante be all gentlemanly with you," she sniggers after chewing and swallowing. At least she has the decency to not talk with her mouth full, I guess. I tuck the napkin under my thigh before she can point it out to the brunette still freaking out next to me. "Gotta step up your game, Dante!" She taunts, sneering.
I frown at her, resisting the urge to bare my teeth. "Watch the fucking movie, Haylie."
"You're lucky I love Marvel, or I'd be watching you two instead," She sticks her tongue out, shifting to get comfortable in her spot again.
Fuck. Step up my game? What does that mean?
Caleb sets his plate on the coffeetable in front of us and curls up next to me, his back to Haylie. "You don't exist to me for three minutes," He declares quietly, huffing. Warm foods must make him sleepy, because the next thing I know, his head lightly falls to my shoulder, and he's barely keeping his eyes open, yawning into the sleeve of his left hand.
And I can't watch the movie, after that.
I turn slightly, just enough to cushion him and stretch his legs out. He must be feeling cramped. His feet are definitely asleep by now, if the faces he's making as I move them are anything to go by. I prop his legs over mine--and then Haylie is sliding my arm around him, a finger pressed against her lips to silence my surprise. Brow furrowed, I clench my jaw, trying not to jostle Caleb while I shift around slightly to fit our bodies together easier.
He gives a small, happy sigh, and my eyes widen at Haylie. Is this supposed to happen? This...this cuddling? He seems so content--and we're so close I can feel his chest rising and falling with his every breath.
She grins over his head at me, winking, then helps herself to the rest of the lasagna in the kitchen.
Figures she'd take advantage.
Damn, who cares about the movie now? I've got Caleb snuggled against me like...like I'm his fucking bed and he looks so peacefully and calm I just... I swallow hard, directing my gaze up to the television. But then Caleb slides an arm around my waist lazily, yawning into my chest, and I really could care less about some Hollywood modified movie, because Caleb is here, against me, willingly spooned closer, not even paying attention to anything else but the fact that I'm his fucking pillow right now.
It feels...good, to be needed simply like this.
So when the movies over, and Haylie dashes back in the living room to pretend she's been here the whole time, I look down at Caleb, fully asleep now.
"Whew...I thought he'd wake up, for sure." She smiles, brushing his hair out of his face. With a small grin at me, she shakes her head. "You really are hopeless, Dante. You should've cuddled with him when the movie began."
Before I can stop myself, I respond with one of the things that have been bothering me since I started seeing them. "I thought you and him had a thing together. That Kevin guy had said something about you kissing Caleb like no one was around, or something like that." I frown at my empty plate on the coffee table. "Hey, did you eat my--"
Haylie drops to the couch, a look of utter disappointed disbelief on her face. "He said that--wait, why would you believe him?"
"So you didn't kiss him?" An invisible ache throbs in my chest, something like relief.
"I did, but not in that sort of way." She slowly shakes her head, and revives a cold fire in my heart. She goes on, hurriedly. "He's like a brother to me, Dante. He accepted me when the girls didn't, and he even admitted how much he liked you to me. I love him like family. Kevin would say something fucked up just to piss you off." She snorts, crossing her arms.
When I don't reply, she reaches over, tentatively. "Look, Dante. I know you're hurt, somehow. You told Caleb, and that must've been hard enough, so I'm not pushing the subject. But I'm not here to fight you or be problematic. Sure, I like messing with you, cause you get all agitated and moody, but I'm not gonna be an asshole just to ruin your life. Well, maybe I will, sometimes." She runs her fingers through my fringe, revealing more of my face. "Me and Caleb really just wanna help."